30 Hottest DIY Kids Halloween Costumes for 2013

Kids Halloween costumes can be tricky. On one hand, children want to look snazzy, impress friends and get double the candy at every door. On the other, most little ones don't pay for their get-ups and will likely never wear them again.

When you can't afford to buy costumes, homemade Halloween costumes satisfy both your wallet and your little one's ghoulish, gleeful or grandiose alter ego. Aside from make-up, fake blood and possibly a trip to the thrift store, most of these 30 outfits can be put together in a matter of minutes with items you already own, making for impressive yet easy Halloween costumes. Still in need of a special touch? Make the most of seasonal discounts with free shipping on costumes and accessories. 


sports zombie

1. Sports Zombie
Night of the Team of the Living Dead -- sounds like a bad (but potentially awesome) horror flick. Truth is, everything is more fun as a zombie, whether it be soccer, football, ballet, baseball, cheerleading or other sports. For this twist on two Halloween costume favorites, dress your child in their favorite existing sports uniform, add touches of fake blood, paint on some rotting skin and set them loose to thoroughly trounce the living.

You can also make very effective rotting skin with homemade paper maché. Mix up newspaper, flour and water to a thickish consistency. Apply to the skin, allow to dry and add makeup. When the night is over, apply water and allow the paper maché to dissolve before removing.

2. Katniss from The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen is an awesome roll model for young girls and her practical go-to outfit is easy to copy for Halloween festivities. You'll need an olive tank or tee shirt, khaki or brown pants, black bloots, a black-hooded jacket or brown leather jacket, and a mockingjay pin. A bow and arrow set is a nice touch. If your kiddo has long locks, be sure to include Katniss's signature side braid. If not, a braid of any kind will do

3. Cereal Killer
This gag is also a fun adult costume, but today's kiddos familiar with video game, movie and TV serial killers should recognize the joke. Tape several empty cereal boxes to any clothing and puncture them with plastic knives. The knives could make it a no-go for school Halloween parties, but it'll elicit chuckles while Trick-or-Treating. The gag works even better if you use the single-serving cereal boxes.

Toy Story 3

4. Woody or Jessie from "Toy Story 3"
Unlike most of the flick's smash-hit cast, the cow-rustling pair of Woody and Jessie are easy to replicate at home. For Woody, gather old jeans, a belt with buckle, striped flannel shirt, cow-spotted vest and brown cowboy hat. Jessie is only slightly different, switching out the shirt and vest for a white button-up with yellow felt cuffs and a red, wide-rimmed hat with ponytail tucked beneath. Ultimately, any cowboy outfit will do, however.

Even kids under 30 are a bit too young to remember Gene Simmons and Co. in their heyday, but the iconic black-on-white face paint is recognizable anywhere. Grab solid black pants, a frazzled wig, a black vest or muscle tank, a studded belt (you know you have one) and plenty of paint with Costume Discounters free shipping codes and coupons. "Starchild," "Demon," "Spaceman" and "Catman" are your choices. Be sure to rev your mini rocker up with repetitions of "Detroit Rock City" before heading out into the night.

Disney princess

6. Disney Princess
Princess costumes remain some of the most popular outfits for girls, but finding the perfect costume can be a hassle, especially with expensive, store-bought Disney kits. Making your own at home is about finding the correct colors for your kiddo's princess of choice.

Cinderella wears light blue on white with a blue choker and ribbons; Belle is bedecked in all yellow with a single rose; Snow White sports a red, blue and gold dress with puffed shoulders and red bow; and though not technically a princess, ever-popular Tinkerbell is outfitted in all green with wings and a wand. You can create Tink's wings by stretching gauze over bent wire hangers and sprinkling with fairy dust.

7. Willie from Duck Dynasty
The boys of Ducky Dynasty may be unlikely celebrities, but their popularity and simple get-ups make them perfect for DIY costumes. All you need is jeans and a tee shirt, a long beard, some element of camoflauge and a stars-and-stripes bandana to copy Willie's look.

8. Winter Sports Star
As luck typically has it, you'll spend Halloween Eve bundled in a parka and snowpants anyway. Cut out flashy undergarments and make ski or snowboard gear your child's costume, finishing the outfit off with goggles, a beanie and lots of extreme sports lingo.

For the Olympic gold medalist effect, add a ruffled red wig like Shaun "The Flying Tomato" White. Create gold medals by gluing yogurt lids to ribbons and hanging them around your little star's neck.

9. Paddington Bear
One of the original superstar's of children's literature, the marmalade-munching mammal is recognizable for his almost drab outfit. Find a floppy hat (preferably yellow, but Paddington was known to wear red and black), a blue peacoat, rain boots and a battered suitcase.

For true authenticity, turn this into a partner costume and dress in the height of '50s English fashion as Mr. or Mrs. Brown, Paddington's adoptive parents.

Captain underpants

10. Captain Underpants
Not quite Paddington Bear but no less of a star, the teacher-turned-superhero is a kid favorite. The two-piece outfit requires only a red blanket or sheet for a cape and the all-important underwear. Although the book character goes shirtless, you'll probably want your child to wear a plain white shirt as well. Besides, the opportunity to run around in underwear and shout "Tra-la-la!" is enough to make up for true authenticity.

11. M&M
This is a safe bet for nearly everyone, from toddler Halloween costumes all the way to teens. Cut two large circles from an old cardboard box, spray paint the outside with your favorite color (parents only, of course), paint the cardboard scraps contrasting colors, fashion into two M's and paste onto the circles. Punch two holes into the tops of each circles and connect with string to drape over your child's shoulders.

12. Grape Bunch
Sweet or sour is your choice (or perhaps your child's), but this one takes no more than a handful of balloons. Find an outfit of beige or black and tape balloons around the "vine" to literally turn your little one into a sweat and healthy treat.

Whimpy kid

13. Greg from "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"
The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series is hot, hot, hot, with a new book slated to arrive only a week after Halloween. The Greg costume is a cinch, though not as flashy as some kids might like. All that's needed are short black shorts, a backpack, Chuck Taylor's and a white shirt. The fun part, however, is getting to act like down-on-his-luck Greg for a day.

14. Retro Basketball Player
Let your child channel their inner Larry Bird and ditch the baggy gym shorts for a day. Pair very short soccer shorts, a tank top and hi-tops with wrist bands and a head band, all in the color of their favorite team. Use duct tape in a contrasting color to mark the jersey as one of many by-gone stars, from Abdul-Jabbar and Erving to Wilt Chamberlain and Dennis Rodman. Just kidding on the last one.

15. Rosie the Riveter
Rosie the Riveter is an iconic symbol of feminine strength and represents a teachable moment to kids unaware of her historical significance. All you need to create her look is a pair of jeans, red bandana and a blue collared button-up shirt (chambray, anyone?). Roll up the sleeves on the shirt and complete the costume with 40s-style makeup 



16. Pumpkin
Babies and infants are naturally plump and plush. A pumpkin costume is the perfect way to accentuate this pudgy cuteness while keeping your little one warm. Dress them in orange sweats and a green beanie. For the jack-o-lantern effect, cut eyes and a mouth from black felt and pin them to the sweater.

17. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Characters
The Harry Potter series is now 13 years old, yet the iconic characters still make for creative Halloween costumes. Craft large, black-rimmed glasses for Harry, carry a stack of books for Hermione, snag a red wig for Ron, plump a big beard for Hagrid and wear gray overcoats with homemade wands for all.

Of course, a generic scarf probably won't suffice in place of a bona fide Gryffindor or Slytherin version. Grab one or more at a discount with Costume Supercenter free shipping codes and hold onto it for the Nov. 19 premiere of Potter's two-part film finale. Don't forget the thunderbolt scar on Harry's forehead!

Calvin and hobbes

18. Calvin and Hobbes
The iconic cartoon duo is easy as pie to pull off, requiring only a black-on-red striped shirt, plain black shorts and a stuffed tiger. Don't forget the outrageously spiky hair, blond if possible. If there's an ornery little sister in need of an outfit, find a pair of jean overalls and colorful shirt, then fix her hair in a bob to match Susie, Calvin's arch-nemesis and secret crush.

Zombie hunter

19. Zombie Hunter
What's more fun than being a zombie? Hunting them! This is a fun twist on the traditional hunter/soldier costume that allows for a bit of rebel 'tude. Dress in camouflage or other rough-and-tumble gear and accentuate with post-apocalypse flair. Try a beat up trench coat, Indiana Jones-esque hat, aviator glasses or box of Twinkies, a la Woody Harrelson in Zombieland.

20. Tiny Tourist
The key for this costume is to make it as dastardly tacky as possible. Gather a floppy hat, destination-travel t-shirt (stuffed for that beer-belly look), long white socks, sunglasses, a fanny pack (preferably brightly colored), and old camera. Top it off with a rolling suitcase for candy and your kiddo is ready for a night of travel in search of sugar-filled souvenirs.


21. Spider
Ah, the arachnid costume. Instantly recognizable and instantly...well, instant. Dress your child in all black, fill dark nylons with crumpled newspaper and pin to their shirt. For added effect, use black face paint and paint pairs of white dots down your child's cheeks to represent eyes. This is another costume for all ages that can be as intricate or bare-bones as you like. Try the design above by sewing several old coats together and attaching them with string so the legs move as your child moves.

22. The Lone Ranger
Though the remake may have tanked at the box office, The Lone Ranger is still a great character and even better DIY costume. The 2013 version has a more sophisticated style, so outfit your kiddo in a white-collared shirt, black vest, black coat and brown pants. Complete the look with a white cowboy hat, red bandana and ranger pin, which you can make out of cardboard and silver paint or glitter.

23. Airplane Pilot
This could go one of two ways -- modern or maverick. For the modern approach, channel the commercial pilot image and use a suit, aviator glasses and captain's hat. The maverick is inspired more by World War II aces than "Top Gun" characters. Match a beige top and bottoms with a thick scarf, beanie with earflaps, black shoes or boots, and round goggles. 


24. Dora the Explorer
Everyone's favorite Spanish tutor makes for an easy and instantly recognizable Halloween costume. Combine a pink shirt with orange shorts, colorful backpack, frilly yellow socks and a shoulder-length bob (though not required). Top it off with a Boots the Monkey plush toy and your niňa bonita is set to rack in the candy.

25. Autograph Book
This costume fulfills the youthful desire to write on any and all available surfaces. Buy a Sharpie and cheap white t-shirt (with second layer underneath to protect their skin), then have your child invite others to sign their name, leave a message or draw a picture. This is also great practice for first and second graders just learning to write.

26. Punk Vampire
Vamps were a favorite long before the current "Twilight" frenzy. One reason may be the infinite combinations of clothing and accessories capable of turning fangs and some blood into a cool costume. The goth look is a no-brainer, but punk is less woe-is-me. Pair a fanged mouthpiece with a Mohawk, wallet chain, fingerless gloves, pin-covered jacket and temporary tattoos. For a truly rebel vibe, snag some realistic tattoo "sleeves" of stretchy fabric with Costume Kingdom free shipping codes.

Chick magnet

27. Chick Magnet
Another cheapo visual gag, this costume is best for older kids. Cut cardboard in a horseshoe shape, color it the appropriate red and silver, then glue old marshmallow Peeps or rubber ducks to the oversized magnet. Wear the costume around the neck or simply attach it to a shirt.

28. Sleepyhead
Who doesn't like wearing pajamas around all day? Give your little one the opportunity to do just that. Literally roll them out of bed, ruffle their hair and let them accessorize with a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Halloween costumes don't get more hassle-free.

Hannah Montana

29. Hannah Montana
Since much of the clothing needed for this outfit could be in your daughter's closet already, putting it together -- like Miley Cyrus's alter ego -- should be fairly simple. Pick from leggings, skirts, jackets, boots, belts -- basically your girl's favorite Hannah Montana look. Add a blond wig with a microphone for instant pop superstardom. 

30. Jedi Master
Since Hannah Montana and Star Wars apparently make good pairings, your little girl's littler bro can go as a Jedi Master. Find a plain brown robe, earth-toned turtleneck and you're finished.

Even the lightsaber doesn't have to be store-bought. Own a smartphone? Download The Schwartz Unsheathed app for Android or Lightsaber Unleashed app for iPhone. Both are a free version of the Jedi weapon, complete with sound effects and changing blade colors.

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